Biden selects Gensler for SEC chair, Rohit Chopra to lead CFPB

President-elect Joe Biden has chosen two veteran regulators to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Biden will nominate former Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chairman Gary Gensler to lead the SEC and Federal Trade Commission member Rohit Chopra to lead the CFPB, the transition announced Monday.

Under the Obama administration and in the wake of the 2008 financial crash, Gensler advanced derivatives regulation at the CFTC, Bloomberg News noted. Biden last year called on Gensler to lead his transition’s review of banking and securities regulators.

Chopra, who Biden has put forward to lead the CFPB, helped Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) establish the office prior to her time serving in the upper chamber.

Chopra served as a CFPB assistant director and as student loan ombudsperson after the agency was launched in 2011. He has served as a Federal Trade Commissioner since 2018. 

His top priorities at the bureau are set to include ramping up enforcement of fair lending laws, in addition to cracking down on payday lenders and building what counts as an “abusive act or practice” for a slate of businesses, according to multiple reports.

“Our administration will hit the ground running to deliver immediate, urgent relief to Americans; confront the overlapping crises of COVID-19, the historic economic downturn, systemic racism and inequality, and the climate crisis; and get this government working for the people it serves. These tireless public servants will be a key part of our agenda to build back better — and I am confident they will help make meaningful change and move our country forward,” Biden, who is set to be inaugurated on Wednesday, said in a statement announcing the picks.

Both of the announced nominees will have to be confirmed by the Senate, and interim leaders will likely lead the SEC and the CFPB during the confirmation process, Bloomberg noted.

The nominees are also expected to reverse many the Trump administration’s industry-friendly approaches on the SEC and the CFBP’s enforcement powers.

Other nominees announced Monday include a slate of deputy secretary picks, including Elizabeth Klein for Interior, Jewel Bronaugh for Agriculture, Andrea Palm for Health and Human Services, Polly Trottenberg for Transportation and Cindy Marten for Education.

Updated: Jan. 18 at 8:40 a.m.

Tags Elizabeth Warren Gary Gensler Joe Biden

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